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Seductive beaches and tempting water sports, magnificent landscapes and inspiring heritage sites, ancient cities and colonial forts – this is wonderful Sri Lanka! Explore the ruins of a ruined 12th century kingdom, feed orphaned baby elephants, engage with newly hatched turtles and admire religious and archeological sites like the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and the Dambulla Cave Temple before you end up on a sun kissed beach! This tour of Giritale, Nuwara Eliya and Bentota is designed for the adventurer in you!
Giritale is a sleepy little town that makes the perfect base for visiting the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa, originally established by the Chola dynasty as their capital in the 10th century. Walk through the beautiful ruins and explore the ancient monuments here. Enroute from Giritale to Nuwara Eliya, the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, considered by some to be the 8th wonder of the ancient world, is a much-required stopover. The nearby Dambulla Golden Temple is an incredible cave temple complex – designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it houses some beautiful old sculptures and murals.
Sitting 2000m above sea level and surrounded by lush tea plantations, Nuwara Eliya is the main hill resort of Sri Lanka and the heart of the tea industry. Once a pleasure retreat of the European planters, the town is still very much an English town with English style bungalows and buildings. The Horton Plains National Park is a nature lovers and hiker’s paradise, and home to a variety of flora and fauna. Nuwara Eliya is famed for its acres and acres of tea plantations. Visit Bluefield Tea Garden, open for visitors, which also has a tea sales outlet. The influence of climatic conditions imparts a variety of flavors and aromas to the tea, making it special. Gregory Lake is a relaxed, recreational spot to wind down.
Bentota is a beach resort and is a good area for diving, windsurfing, relaxing and visiting turtle hatcheries. Enroute to Bentota, take a break at Kitulgala, the base for river rafting on the Kelani Ganga. The Bentota beaches offer water-sporting opportunities like water surfing, snorkeling and jet skiing. Nearby Galle is home to the Dutch Fort and is a delightful old colonial city. Within easy distance from Bentota is the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, a conservation project for endangered turtle species.
Depart from Colombo (Bentota to Colombo will be approximately 90 kms drive).